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I have a page where there are say above 500 links. Most (484 of them) are all stacked in 2 table cells. They all point to a search result with each link showing a different search result.

What is the best way to improve SEO for this page?

One idea that I think is good is by loading up only few links initially then utilize JS to load the additional links on the fly based on certain events in order to improve both usability and SEO.

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Is this a blackhat or whitehat effort? –  Bryce Dec 24 '13 at 0:30
Very much a white hat effort. Usability is quite the important factor.. –  J-D Dec 24 '13 at 0:37
Google doesn't want to index search result pages anyway so I wouldn't worry about making these pages available to them. –  John Conde Dec 24 '13 at 0:47
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4 Answers

Google doesn't want to index pages of search results. You should have a robots.txt rule that prevents Google from crawling all of your search result pages. If you don't, you run the risk of getting a penalty from Google for showing search result pages in their search results.

Linking to pages that are in robots.txt does dilute link juice. I've tested it. As far as I can tell, it is very similar to using nofollow on links. Google drops the PageRank on the floor.

As far as "avoiding link juice dilution" goes, you don't need to worry. Lots of links with nofollows or lots of links to pages in robots.txt have never hurt any of the sites that I have worked with. As a webmaster, you don't need to do anything to preserve PageRank. You might think that this PageRank gets "lost". That isn't the case. Losing PageRank doesn't hurt your popular crawlable pages. It is almost like Google scoops up that lost PageRank and redestributes it across the pages on your site that it can crawl and index.

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Do you have a reference for "penalty from Google for showing search result pages in their search results"? Webmaster Guidelines recommend against it, but say nothing of penalty. I'm not sure I follow your argument on PageRank, but I think it may be contrary to what Matt Cutts explains here: mattcutts.com/blog/pagerank-sculpting - essentially that PageRank is not redistributed. –  GDav Jan 16 at 11:07
I added references for the "search results in search results". –  Stephen Ostermiller Jan 16 at 11:22
As for linking and PageRank, it is my own conclusion. I worked with a very large website that did lots of nofollow and tons of linking to things in robots.txt. Somehow it didn't seem to change the rankings when we did so. My only theory is that Google has a concept of "site reputation" than is calculated with external links to the site and that internal linking doesn't change it. –  Stephen Ostermiller Jan 16 at 11:24
Thanks for the link: I'm not sure what you refer to in your other answer describes a penalty, though. I can see it says "take action to reduce", which isn't the same thing. Have I missed an important bit? Regards PageRank, I think we may be talking at cross-purposes. I wouldn't expect links to reduce performance of the referring page; I don't think that's how PageRank works, not because of any "redistribution" but because a link which gives PageRank doesn't take it from the referring page. –  GDav Jan 27 at 14:30
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As you said, have a certain amount of links visible, then load more with JS.

The first 20 links:

<a href="/link-target/">link</a>

The subsequent links:

<a class="lazy-load" title="/link-target/">link</a>

Followed by:

$(document).ready(function(){ $("a.lazy-load").attr("src", $(this).attr("title")); });

This will mean at page generation (when google crawls it) there will only be 20 links, yet the page is still html valid. For the users who actually view the page (presuming they have JS, and you include jquery - it could be done without this), they'll get the full amount of links and know nothing has happened.

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A webpage with 500 links is rarely a good SEO optimized page. It's also bad for user experience because it's hard to find the wanted link in the list.

A good method would be to divide your webpage into several by classing those links by categories for example. That way, you can obtain several webpages with less links (better for SEO and user experience). Moreover, don't forget to add some text around those links to give more SEO weight of your new webpages.

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Can I add that the links have to be all on one page. its a list of names and goes to a search page when clicked. Eg. <a href="/search.php?q=aaron">Aaron</a> ... I'm thinking of using a JS filter like this ... mixitup.io to improve the usability but is there anything else I should know that will improve the usaibility and would my solution be a good one to implement ? –  J-D Dec 24 '13 at 0:46
By keeping all the links in one webpage, you keep the problem of usability. Try for example to create different webpages referring to firstnames from A to C, then from D to F... –  Zistoloen Dec 24 '13 at 0:52
@Zistoloen that's unnecessary and hurts the usability. I'd add in-page links to the letters instead: [A] [B] [C] [D] … and a live filter, like this one listjs.com/examples –  bfred.it Dec 24 '13 at 2:11
@Zistoloen I did exactly that with some animation.. I am ignoring the SEO part of it as I find that if the page is ranked low .. the page rank will be distributed on other sites. –  J-D Jan 16 at 22:29
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A solution that I would recommend:

Load all the links in an <iframe> and add a rule in your robots.txt to disallow that <iframe>.

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